Okra is an easy and nutritious vegetable to grow in your backyard. And, if you want to try and have a fall crop, now is the time to plant! (Texas A&M recommends planting at least three months before the first frost date…)
Be sure and plant your okra in full sun and give each plant enough space. The good news is that okra doesn’t need a lot of water once it is established. Once the plant starts producing, you should harvest pods daily (if you don’t they will get too long and chewy making them rather inedible). You will be shocked at how quickly the finished pods will grow even in 24 hours. This excellent tip sheet from Texas A&M suggests specific varieties of okra (and other vegetables) suited to our area of North Texas.
Once you start harvesting okra at home, you will want to grow it every year. You will be able to cook your own home-made gumbo, okra and tomatoes, pickled okra, fried okra…(Bonus, you can harvest the seeds from 1-2 pods of this year’s garden for next year’s urban garden.) Pictured here is a particularly beautiful variety of okra we’ve tried called, “Red Burgundy”…The pods are bright red, surrounded by yellow flowers, and variegated leaves.